Shoot the Rapids
Shoot the Rapids

I don't have a photograph of this ride but I do have this great description of it from Paul Watkins whose mother rode it once, by mistake.

"One piece of Belle Vue 'magic' has been branded into my memory for ever. It concerned a birthday treat visit to Belle Vue, which among others, included my Mum, best friend Jeremy and my little brother David. Jeremy and I were after going on as many rides as we could and my Mum, feeling a bit sorry for my brother, decided she should take him on a ride which would be suitable for him. Deciding against a roundabout (he was always going on the ones at Ashton market) she thought that a gentle boat ride, through caves and lit with coloured lights would be OK for him. The name of the ride was' Shoot the Rapids'. Mum went in with David, leaving Jeremy and I outside to wait for her. Once inside, Jeremy and I got out a tanner each (2 1/2p) and followed at a safe distance. We could hear them in front of us somewhere but couldn't directly see them as it was a dark and 'twisty' corridor we were following. We finally did see them, just as my Mum and David were getting into a type of cupboard and the door closing behind them. Our turn arrived. Jeremy and I got into the cupboard and sat on a type of bench that was made up from lots of rollers. The door closed and the seat just collapsed beneath us. The door at the front of the seat opened and we careered down this type of 'flying carpet' a type of endless roll cloth, running over padded rollers which gave the rider the feeling of 'shooting the rapids! We just caught a glimpse of my mum, desperately hanging onto my brothers hand, whilst trying to retain her modesty as she was on her back, dress around her waist and with handbag grimly being gripped in the other. My mate Jeremy, whom still lives in Manchester and I were practically wetting ourselves. My Mum wasn't. She was berating the poor bemused bloke at the bottom for letting her go on such a ride in the first place with such a small child. I guess David was only three or four at the time. This is an incident that we still laugh about when we all get together."


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